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SU Senior shares experience in "The Human Jukebox"
Trying out for Southern University's Marching Band, aka "The Human Jukebox," has been said by some to be a "humbling experience." The reputation is that it teaches its members discipline, time management, values and respect.
Just ask Ximena Hernandez. "Being a part of this band has taught me discipline more than anything, perseverance, and the understanding of when you want or need something, you have to work hard to earn it," said senior band member.
Hernandez began her matriculation at Southern in the fall of 2012, majoring in music education. That same semester, she started her journey as a piccolo player in the Human Jukebox.
Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Hernandez was a member of the Red Bull marching band of Westbury High School. Music has always been her passion.
As she was getting closer to graduation, she had to decide on a school that would interest her educationally, physically, mentally, and most importantly, musically.
"Southern University immediately became top priority," said Hernandez. "When I got to high school, noticing the style of marching band Southern used, and knowing that I wanted to be a part of a band on the collegiate level, it really opened my eyes to HBCUs."
After studying several bands, Hernandez decided on Southern. "The band that stood out to me the most was Southern," she said.
Growing from a freshman to now, Hernandez is truly appreciative of what the band has taught her, the experiences the organization afforded her and the memories.
Hernandez said her favorite memory of being in the band was the Bayou Classic Battle of the Bands in 2012. "I had never been to the Battle of the Bands before, and from the second we marched in, it was unreal, unbelievable and definitely indescribable," she said.
When she visits home, Hernandez makes it her duty to return to her high school as a role model and representative of Southern University.
"Before advocating for Southern, I first make sure I encourage kids to go to college and finish, because in the world we live in today, it's hard to find jobs without a degree," she said. "I tell them about my experiences at Southern, I express my love for the university and let them know how great it would be for them to come and join the Jaguar family."
After graduation, Hernandez plans to expand her passion for music by accomplishing her career goal to become a music education teacher at an elementary school.
Hernandez is also planning to join the Human Jukebox Alumni Association to maintain her loyalty to the band.
Story by Keith Morgan